After a 13 inning rubber match between the Chicago Cubs and the Colorado Rockies at Wrigley Field came to an end, the Rockies are officially moving on to the National League Division Series against the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Rockies struck first after a Charlie Blackmon walk, a DJ LeMahieu ground-rule double into the ivy in left-center, and Nolan Arenado lifted a sacrifice fly to right-center to make the score 1-0 in the Rockies favor. Little did anyone know that this would be the last run scored by the Rockies for a while.
In a pitcher’s duel in which Jon Lester and Kyle Freeland were masterful (with Lester pitching 6 innings of one-run ball with Freeland pitching 7 2/3 innings of shutout ball), opportunities to score were few and far between with the next run being scored in the eighth inning by the Chicago Cubs after Anthoney Rizzo hit a two-out single and was replaced by Terrance Gore who promptly stole second base. Following the stolen base, Javier Baez ripped a single to left-center off of Rockies’ reliever Adam Ottavino.
The Cubs would use pitchers Jesse Chavez, Randy Rosario, Steve Cishek, Pedro Strop, Cole Hamels, and Justin Wilson who all combined for six scoreless innings of relief while the Rockies used Wade Davis, Seung Hwan Oh, Chris Rusin, and Scott Oberg for 3 1/3 scoreless innings to bring the game into the 13th after Ottavino game up the tying run in the 8th.
In the top of the 13th, the Rockies chances of scoring couldn’t have been good after the Cubs quickly recorded two outs. Despite the early setback, Trevor Story was able to sneak a single between Kris Bryant and Báez (who were both playing no-doubles defense) into left field. Gerardo Parra then moved Story to third on a single to right field.
The Postseason is when folk heroes are created and the Rockies got one in the unexpected heroism of catcher Tony Wolters who has a .170 career batting average and had not recorded a hit since September 10th. Wolters would ground a single up the middle to plate Story and break the 1-1 tie to make it 2-1 in the Rockies’ favor. The Rockies would fail to score again, but the damage had already been done.
The Chicago Cubs would go down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the 13th and just like that, the Rockies had won the National League Wild Card Game.
With the Rockies’ win, I had recorded my first correct pick of the 2018 Postseason while my co-writer Daryll picked the Cubs to win this game, so at least for now, I am No. 1.
Giuseppe – 1
Daryll – 0
Stay tuned for the American League Wild Card Game tomorrow between the New York Yankees and Oakland A’s.